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Master degree projects in bioinformatics

You can perform a master's degree project of 30 (BINP50), 45 (BINP51) or 60 (BINP52) credits in bioinformatics. Ongoing projects are presented on the notice board outside the entrance to House A, the Biology building.

Completed master's degree projects in bioinformatics in Lund University's student paper database

To be able to enrol for a master´s degree project in bioinformatics you should be enrolled in the Master´s program in bioinformatics at Lund University and should have completed 45 credits of relevant advanced level courses within the programme.


Before the start

  1. Check with the study advisor Lotta Persmark, to ensure that you fulfil the requirements to start a degree project.
  2. Contact a supervisor within the area of your interest and discuss the general outline of the project. Before proceeding, you should show your CV and LADOK excerpt to the supervisor. Note that the project can be conducted outside the university, at a company. If you do not find what you want, your Master’s programme coordinator will give advice. Ask the supervisor to suggest one or more suitable opponent(s) and check if they will be available when you are to defend your MSc.
  3. Write a project plan together with your supervisor when you have decided about a project. The project plan will need to be approved by one of the examiner Dag Ahrén. The plan should be brief, but give a clear description of your specific project (2–3 A4 pages). It should contain:
    • Project title
    • Name and e-mail addresses to you and the supervisor
    • Topic, time, and number of credits
    • Introduction, with a theoretical background to the project and key references (5-10)
    • The specific aim(s) of your project
    • Methods
    • Time plan (rough planning of the project). Remember to include time for writing of the report and preparations for the seminar. A 30 credit project should be about 20 weeks; 45 credits correspond to 30 weeks and 60 credits correspond to 40 weeks.
  4. Fill in the registration form (pdf, 1 MB, new tab) Lotta Persmark will confirm that you are eligible to start the project by adding a signature on the registration form. You and your supervisor should also sign the form and after that the examiner, Dag Ahrén. Hand in the registration form around 2 weeks before the start of the project to Lotta Persmark. Note also that if you are going to perform your project during the summer you must register before the 15 June.
  5. If the project is carried out outside of Lund University, a contact person from within Lund University (Internal supervisor) has to be appointed. This person will have contact with you and the external supervisor.
  6. Write a popularised description of the project. This should include your name, title of the project, supervisor, a short summary of the project and a picture of yourself. Download the template for ongoing projects (ppt, 162 kB) The description will be posted on the board outside the A-house entrance in the Biology building. Email the description to Lotta [dot] Persmark [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se.
  7. If you do the project abroad you must have insurance. Lotta Persmark at the Education office will help you with that.

During the project

  1. Carefully document your work. You should document your work systematically in a README file. With the aid of the README file, you or another person should be able to recreate the current results from the original data. The README file may be used in the final examination and grading of your project. You should submit the README file together with the final report.
  2. If something is not working the way you would like it to, for example, problems with your supervisor, contact your Master’s programme coordinator or contact person (if one has been appointed) as soon as possible. The earlier we address a problem the sooner it can be solved.
  3. You should participate in group meetings, seminars, and such that may be arranged in the group or at the department where you are working.
  4. It is advisable to start writing the report as soon as possible. Parts of the introduction and materials and methods can be written in parallel with your practical/theoretical work.

At half-time

  1. A half-time evaluation should be done when half the time of the project has passed, download the instructions and form (docx, 60 kB). Please send to the examiner who makes sure the result is registered in LADOK.
  2. Sometimes a project may need to be prolonged or shortened. This must be done latest at the half-time evaluation. The reasons for the change have to be explained in written form to the coordinator, and a new project plan has to be submitted.

The report

  1. The project shall be presented as a scientific report in English. The format of your report should follow the instructions on how to write manuscripts for PLOS One. Author instructions are found at PLOS One's website. Discuss with your supervisor whether your report may deviate from these instructions. Your final report can be in manuscript form or you may choose a layout that is more similar to a printed paper.
  2. Plagiarism. You are not allowed to present someone else’s work, such as text, figures or results, without giving proper reference. You may of course refer to the works of others, but you must write about it in your own words and refer to the source of information in a correct way. To prevent plagiarism, all Master's project reports are sent to "Urkund" (information to students on Urkund's website, a program that uses internet/databases to scan a report for plagiarised text. Your text is also added to the database, which prevents the contents of your report to be plagiarised by someone else in the future. See below, under "Submission of the report" how this is done.
  3. Write a popular science summary of your project, which must be approved by your supervisor before the examination. Also, let some of your fellow master students read and give feedback on your popular science summary. Download the guideline to the popular science summary (docx, 34 kB).

The examination

  1. The examination committee consists of:
    • Examiner. The programme coordinator will act as an examiner or appoint another examiner within the Department of Biology.
    • The external examiner is suggested by the supervisor and then appointed by the examiner.
    • Supervisor, who will take part in the discussion, but not in the decision (like at a PhD dissertation). If the supervisor is not present, the examiner will contact the supervisor for his or her opinion.
  2. Date, time and location for the seminar are decided by the supervisor after consulting with the examination committee and the student.
  3. Submission of the thesis. At least two weeks before the seminar, you should submit your completed thesis including the popular summary to the examiner via the URKUND system using the e-mail address below. This is the version of the thesis on which the examination will be based. Send the report and summary to the coordinator: dag [dot] ahren [dot] lu [at] analys [dot] urkund [dot] se You simply attach the report and summary in the mail. Dag Ahrén will make sure that the report is also sent to the external examiner.
  4. Announcing the seminar. The supervisor communicates date, time, and venue for the seminar to other students and employees.
  5. Seminar. At the examination, you will give a presentation (about 20–30 min). After your presentation, the examination committee will ask you questions and discuss your report and project, and thereafter the audience will be invited to ask questions. Finally, the examination committee has an internal discussion before the examiner decides about the grading. The examiner is responsible for reporting the grade to the Education office (where it will be registered in LADOK).
  6. Grades The master's thesis work is graded according to these criteria (pdf, 1 MB, new tab).
    To reach the grade Pass with distinction (Väl Godkänt), the student will be given instructions about how to improve the work to reach the grade “Pass”.

After the examination

  1. Make the last corrections and adjustments of the written report. Incorporate the changes suggested by the examination committee into the final version. Create the cover page, which has a specified template for cover page (pdf, 2MB, new tab) that you fill in. Note that for "Year" in the template you choose the year you are examined. Include your pdf-cover page as the first page in your report.
  2. Hand in the final version of your report to the Education office. The report should be handed in as a pdf, and the popular science summary as a word file to johanna_bjarney [dot] jonsdottir [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se within two weeks after the examination. Your report, or at least the abstract and title, will be published at Lund University’s Master’s thesis database (LUP Student Papers, information on the Library of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering's website). Please note that reports in this database are publicly available, which should be taken into account if some parts of your work should remain confidential. If you publish the whole report, this will be regarded as a publication and you can not publish the work in other outlets, e.g. scientific journals. Therefore, discuss with your supervisor if you should publish only the abstract or the whole thesis at LUP Student Papers.
  3. Please complete the Master’s Evaluation form. You will get the web address from the Education office to the evaluation in an e-mail after submitting the final version of the report.

Apply for your degree certificate

You apply for your certificate online through the Student Portal. Log in to the Student portal with your Stil ID and follow the instructions. You apply for the degree “Master (120 credits)” in “Bioinformatics" (major subject). Contact Lotta Persmark if you have questions. It may take up to three months for the Degree office to award the certificate.